The Graduate


Although I paint abstract work, I make the occasional foray into representation. Usually there is some event, like an art show for children in which I am participating. And of course at an earlier stage of my practice, I made only representational work.

A series of dresses from 2004.
I used to do a lot of tiny dress paintings on 3" x 5" pieces of wood. There is something about the swish of fifties dresses which has always appealed to me. Add in the bright colours I love to use, and I found myself able to paint tiny dresses for hours. It's something fun and stress-less. I've sold a lot of these dresses to young girls, and their moms, and toyed with the idea of putting them on etsy.

Recently I attended the grad banquet for my son's high school. (As an aside, I am not a creeper mom, in Vancouver attending your child's grad is completely normal and required. Personally I would rather have not attended than had my parents at my prom, but those were more carefree times.) The girls at the banquet looked lovely. Bright vibrant colours are in style this spring and they looked like a flock of tropical birds in lovely plumage. I felt inspired to paint the whole kaleidoscope.

Luckily this inspiration carried through for a grad gift for my son's girlfriend. Emma is a wonderful girl:  intelligent, beautiful and confident. When Sam first started going out with her, we teased him about how lucky he was and wondering what she saw in him!  Fortunately for me, he never reads my blog, or I would be in real trouble right now. Anyway back to the art, I decided that I'd like to do a little painting for Emma, of the gorgeous red dress she wore to the banquet. Thanks to Facebook, I snagged a good photo and went to work. Using a 5" x 7" board, I began with a subtly patterned tissue over multiple layers of silver and pearl paint.  Then I did a complementary green underpainting and then a final painting with reds, oranges, and pinks. I poured resin on the final product and then bought the perfect silver frame. And here it is:

"Emma" 2011

Will she like it? Stay tuned, their ceremony is tonight and the dress is wrapped and ready to go.